You all know I run with a fabulous pack of ladies on a regular basis. Yes, we “let” some boys into our group, but for the most part, this female runner is used to female company. So it was quite the different experience for me last Saturday when I turned out to be the only female on my long run.
The all women’s IronGirl half marathon is taking place here in town at the end of the month and I’m considering running it. I could easily drive the course, but wanted to run it once to check it out on foot if I got the chance. I learned that a group of pacers was heading out to run the course on Saturday and asked if I could tag along. I knew the lead pacer–he was actually my pacing partner from last fall’s Metric Marathon–and he gave me the details on where/when to meet up.
So I showed up and that’s when I discovered that I was the only girl. I also discovered that I was not only surrounded by all males, but by a group made up mostly of triathletes. Now, I’ve been a triathlete, so I can say this: this is a group that makes runners look mellow. To me, this combo of triathletes and males only meant one thing: it was going to be a pissing match and I might just be the victim that gets shot off the back. Let me add that I forgot it was an unsupported run, brought no water, and had intentionally planned this to be a glycogen depletion run.
My plan was to just head out conservatively and see how things went. Immediately several guys shot off to the front. I stayed comfortable and chatted with the middle-of-the-packers. Around the half-way mark, I noticed something–guys were starting to drop off the pace. Before too long, I had made my way to the front and started running with the leading guy. I know who this guy is–he’s much faster than me. But his pace was reasonable enough, and I was feeling good enough that I was able to hang with him for the rest of the run. One other guy joined us and then we lost all the guys behind us. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy that a bit…
So maybe me, who prides myself on being able to run conservatively when I should, got caught up in the pissing match myself? Nah, I’m a girl. We don’t do that, right? ; )